Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jen's Fake Taziki/Raita or Raziki


So this is a recipe that I really love and Andre asks me to make for him so much that I ended up showing him how to make it himself.  It is not quite a traditional taziki or a raita, but some mutant form of the two.  Warning: there is some prep time for this recipe so read thoroughly .

1 Field Cucumber (not long English as LE tend to be quite bitter)
1 container Astro Greek/Balkan Natural Style Yogurt
1 – 2 cloves of Garlic (be very careful with how much you put in I like 1, Andre likes 4, which is so hot it burns going down)
½ tsp. salt (for garlic – see below)
1 tsp. salt (for cucumber – see below)
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 TBS. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Lemon juice
Black Pepper, to taste

Strain yogurt. What I do is take a metal sieve and line it with cheesecloth (if you don’t have cheesecloth, use a coffee filter) put it into a bowl for the liquid to drain out into and dump container of yogurt into said filter (see picture) let sit overnight in the fridge or for 2 hours on the countertop. You have successfully made what is commonly referred to as Yogurt Cheese, which is a health base to all kinds of dips, sauces, etc.

Once your yogurt has drained, peel and grate your cucumber on a cheese grater. Set it in a strainer over the sink and let drain. As it is draining sprinkle and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt, this causes the water to come out of the cucumber, let drain for about 10 minutes or however long it takes you to do the next step.

Chop or mince garlic and then mash it with ½ teaspoon of salt until it becomes a paste, you can use a mortar and pestle if you have one otherwise just sprinkle the salt in a pile on your cutting board, put the garlic on top of it and squish it with the back of a spoon. The salt helps to grind up the garlic into a fine paste.

Return to your cucumber that is draining in the sink. Run cold water over the cucumber to rinse off the excess salt. Squeeze through paper towels to remove moisture.

Combine yogurt cheese, cucumber, garlic, cilantro, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let favours mingle for a couple of hours and enjoy. This is really great with chicken and pork slouvaki.

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